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Cover

Samuel Johnson

Selected Writings

Edited by David Womersley

Publication Date - March 2020

ISBN: 9780198859246

1,344 pages
Paperback
8.5 x 5.4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $25.95

Description

This volume in the 21st-Century Oxford Authors series offers students an authoritative, comprehensive selection of the work of Samuel Johnson (1709-1784). Accompanied by full scholarly apparatus, the edition enables students to study Johnson's work in the order in which it was written, and, wherever possible, using the text of the first published version.

The volume presents a selection of Johnson's most important writings, drawn from all periods of his life. It reflects almost completely the range of literary forms in which Johnson wrote, including poetic translation, biographical sketches, literary criticism, and letters. It includes a broad selection from The Rambler (1750â1752) and The Idler (1758â1760), along with the travel narrative A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland (1775), and a selection from The Lives of the Poets (1781). David Womersleyâs introduction explores how Johnsonâs mastery of style enabled him to adopt various personae, sometimes simultaneously, in order to communicate through many different genres and registers. Johnson is shown to be an active participant in the philosophical and social currents of his time. This selection reveals an author driven by deeply-held principles, concerned with how the ethical, political, and affective dimensions of language go beyond vocabulary and reach into the lives of its users.

Explanatory notes and commentary are included to enhance the study, understanding, and enjoyment of these works, and the edition includes an Introduction to the life of Johnson, and a Chronology.

Features

  • Introduces students to the life and work of Samuel Johnson
  • Johnson's work is presented in chronological order, allowing students to study his development and growth as a poet and essayist
  • Includes a separate Chronology at the opening of the volume, which provides details of Johnson's life, and the composition and publication of his works
  • The poems and writings are presented free of annotation on the pages, allowing students to encounter the original texts afresh
  • Explanatory notes and commentary are located at the end of the book, providing students with a wealth of additional material and information that will enhance the understanding and enjoyment of these works
  • An essential teaching resource, representing Johnson's work in all its variety

About the Author(s)

David Womersley, Thomas Warton Professor of English, University of Oxford

David Womersley is the Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of St. Catherine's College.

Reviews

"Womersley's elegant introduction interweaves biography with the literary forms that Johnson often single-handedly transformed, with compelling reflections on the anomalies and estrangements in his prose ... a richly representative volume" -- Jayne Lewis, Studies in English Literature

Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Chronology
    Note on the Texts
    Part I: Early Poetry and Prose to 1750
    Translation of Horace, Odes, I.xxii (pre-1725)
    Translation of Horace, Epode, II (prob. 1726)
    Translation of Horace, Odes, II.xiv (prob. 1726)
    Translation of Horace, Odes, II.xx (prob. 1726)
    'Festina Lente' (prob. late 1726)
    'The Young Author' (1729)
    'Annals' (1734) - from birth to 1719
    Letter to Cave, 25 November, 1734
    'Preface' to Lobo's Voyage to Abyssinia (1 February, 1735)
    Letter to Cave, 12 July, 1737
    London (12 May, 1738)
    'Debates in the Senate of Magna Lilliputia' (June, 1738)
    'A Prayer on my Birth-Day' (7 September, 1738)
    'On Gay's Epitaph' (October, 1738)
    'Life of Boerhaave' (January, 1739)
    A Compleat Vindication of the Licensers of the Stage (May, 1739)
    'Prologue' to Lethe (April, 1740)
    'An Epitaph on Claudy Philips, a Musician' (September, 1740)
    'On Epitaphs' (December, 1740)
    Review of the Memoirs of the Duchess of Marlborough (March, 1742)
    Proposal for the Harleian Miscellany (November, 1742)
    Letter to Edward Cave, autumn 1743
    Life of Savage (11 February, 1744)
    Introduction to the Harleian Miscellany (April, 1744)
    'To Miss -, on her playing upon the harpsichord' (1746?)
    Prologue Spoken by Mr Garrick at the Opening of the Theatre in Drury-Lane (September, 1747)
    'The Vision of Theodore' (7 April, 1748)
    The Vanity of Human Wishes (9 January, 1749)
    'The Vanity of Wealth' (February, 1750)
    Part II: 'Dictionary' Johnson
    The Rambler (1750-1752): 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 36, 37, 39, 41, 45, 47, 49, 60, 63, 64, 70,71, 72, 73, 76, 77, 79, 85, 87, 90, 93, 101, 106, 108, 113, 114, 115, 121, 129, 134, 135, 137, 142, 146, 148, 151, 156, 158, 159, 161, 165, 167, 168, 170, 171, 176, 181, 183, 184, 188, 191, 196, 207, 208
    'Life of Cheynel' (July, 1751)
    Sermon . . . for the Funeral of his Wife (prob. March, 1752)
    'Prayers Composed on the Death of My Wife' (24 April-6 May 1752)
    The Adventurer (1752-1754): 39, 45, 50, 67, 69, 84, 85, 95, 99, 102, 107, 111, 119, 126, 137, 138
    Diary entries, 22, 23, and 29 April, 1753
    Letter to Thomas Warton, 16 July, 1754
    'Preface' to the Dictionary of the English Language (15 April, 1755)
    Letter to the Earl of Chesterfield, 7 February, 1755
    Letter to Bennet Langton, 6 May, 1755
    Letter to Miss Hill Boothby, 31 December, 1755
    Letter to Miss Hill Boothby, 8 January, 1756
    Letter to Samuel Richardson, 16 March, 1756
    'Introduction to the Political State of Great Britain' (15 May, 1756)
    Review of Warton, Essay on the Writings and Genius of Pope (15 May, 1756)
    Review of Blackwell, Memoirs of the Court of Augustus (15 May, 1756)
    'Observations on the Present State of Affairs' (15 August, 1756)
    Review of Hanway, An Essay on Tea (15 May, 1757)
    Review of Jenyns, Free Inquiry (15 May, 1757)
    'Of the Duty of a Journalist' (8 April, 1758)
    The Idler (8 April 1758-1760): 1, 5, 10, 17, [22], 22, 23, 27, 30, 31, 32, 36, 38, 40, 41, 44, 48, 49, 50, 51, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 65, 66, 72, 81, 84, 88, 94, 100, 103
    Letter to Sarah Johnson, 20 January, 1759
    Letter to William Strahan, 20 January, 1759
    Letter to Lucy Porter, 23 January, 1759
    Diary entry and prayer, 23 January, 1759
    Rasselas (26 June, 1759)
    'The Bravery of the English Common Soldiers' (January, 1760)
    Review of Tytler's Mary Queen of Scots (October, 1760)
    Part III: The Great Cham of Literature
    Letter to Baretti, 10 June, 1761
    Letter to Boswell, 8 December, 1763
    Diary entry, 21 April, 1764
    'A Reply to Impromptu Verses by Baretti' (1765?)
    Preface to The Plays of Shakespeare (10 October, 1765)
    Diary entry, 1 January, 1766
    'The Fountains' (1 April, 1766)
    Letter to Boswell, 9 September, 1769
    The False Alarm (16 January, 1770)
    Prayer on Easter Day, 31 March, 1771
    'Parodies of Percy's Hermit of Warkworth' (prob. summer 1771)
    '????? ???????' (12 December, 1772)
    Letter to Boswell, 24 February, 1773
    Diary entry, 22 July, 1773
    Diary entry, 25 July, 1774
    The Patriot (12 October, 1774)
    Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland (18 January, 1775) - selection
    Letter to James Macpherson, 20 January, 1775
    Taxation No Tyranny (8 March, 1775)
    Diary entry, 14 April, 1775
    'To Mrs Thrale on her Thirty-Fifth Birthday' (presented 24 January, 1776)
    Diary entry for Easter Day, 7 April, 1776
    'Lines on Thomas Warton's Poems' (early 1777?)
    Diary entry, 28 March, 1777
    'Prologue' to Hugh Kelly's A Word to the Wise (29 May, 1777)
    Letter to William Dodd, 26 June, 1777
    Letter to Richard Farmer, 22 July, 1777
    'An Extempore Elegy' (1778?)
    'A Short Song of Congratulation' (August, 1780)
    Lives of the Poets (1781)
    Letter to Thomas Lawrence, 17 January, 1782
    Diary entry, 20 January, 1782
    Letter to Thomas Lawrence, 1 May, 1782
    Letter to Boswell, 7 September, 1782
    'On the Death of Dr Robert Levet' (August, 1783)
    Correspondence with Mrs. Thrale, 2-8 July, 1784
    Letter to Lord Thurlow, 9 September, 1784
    Translation of Horace, Odes, IV.vii (November, 1784)
    Diary entry, 5 December, 1784
    Appendices
    Appendix A: Johnson's prayer on beginning The Rambler.
    Appendix B: Johnson's revisions to The Rambler, no. 1.
    Appendix C: Bonnell Thornton's parody of The Rambler.
    Notes
    Texts Arranged by Genre
    Index of Short Titles
    Index of First Lines
    Index of Persons
    Index of Subjects